September 27, 2012
‘There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in “cargo cult science.” It’s a kind of scientific integrity . . . you should report everything (in an experiment) that you think might make it invalid – not only what you think is right about it.’ – Physicist Richard Feynman
WINNIPEG, MB, Sep 27, 2012/ Troy Media/ – The Alberta Science Education Journal is telling Alberta science teachers that educators and the media should never question theories of Catastrophic Anthropogenic (human-caused) Global Warming (CAGW). The Journal is a scholarly publication of the professional development council of ‘science teachers for science teachers.’
In its December 2011 on-line edition, in an article entitled ‘The Role of Educators in Increasing Public Certainty in Climate Change Science,’ the Journal states that, even though climate change is about science, questioning should be suppressed and the public should be manipulated to believe that global warming is a certainty. Really?
Stan Bissell, the author, even recommends, as part of his in-class climate studies, that other teachers show their classes the PG-13 climate-terror movie The Day After Tomorrow as an exercise in ‘critical thinking.’
Critical thinking, the essence of scientific discovery and rational living, involves the development of reasoning skills so that individuals can assess the validity of any hypothesis dispassionately. Critical thinking is as essential in the pure sciences like math, as it is in interpretive studies such as history, ethics, philosophy, and economics.
Using The Day After Tomorrow to teach critical thinking on climate science is a bit like showing Friday the 13th to med students to critique surgical techniques.
The Day After Tomorrow exploits the inherent fear of separation and abandonment that children experience. In the movie, a father desperately tries to reach his son as cataclysmic cold weather sweeps across the U.S. It is a film fraught with tragedy and larger-than-life special effects. And it is fiction, not science.
Much of climate change ‘science’ exploits fear and encourages nonsensical thinking in place of the Scientific Method. Take a look at the UN’s Environment Program like ‘Tore and the Town on Thin Ice.’ Tore runs a team of sled dogs. To save him from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the UN earth mother Sedena encourages his arctic villagers to install solar panels on their homes, in a land where it is dark and sunless for much of the year.
That’s why critical thinking is essential to balance emotional climate change hysteria.
An approach based on emotion has consequences. Psychologists have noted a connection between ‘. . . numerous accounts of subclinical depressive emotions, guilt, and despair associated with climate change and other global environmental issues.’ As noted on the British site ‘Climate Lessons,’ in dozens of cases, terrorizing children about climate change leads to life-long anxiety and depression.
And is there even scientific certainty in ‘climate change science’?
Getting back to Bissell, the author of that Journal article, much of his argument is predicated on a paper published in 2000 (which heavily relies on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)) entitled ‘Communicating the Science of Climate Change.’ Since that time, however, more than a decade of satellite evidence has shown global temperatures to be cooling, despite a rise in carbon dioxide (CO2).
More recently, investigative journalist Donna Laframboise exposed the IPCC as untrustworthy, writing that its ‘Climate Bible’ had been compiled by ‘green’ activists who radically tampered with scientific submissions in order to suit pre-set IPCC global warming policy.
Alberta science teachers who follow Bissell’s advice are teaching children to ignore the Scientific Method and current scientific evidence.
Bissell denigrates public debate saying that ‘it is irresponsible of mass media to give equal weight to conflicting viewpoints when the evidence so clearly supports one viewpoint, and the result of this practice is a confused public.
Alberta’s Premier Alison Redford, who rode to power through an alliance with the Alberta Teachers Association, claims she wants to ‘foster a rich innovation and research culture’. Unfortunately, that can never happen as long as leaders and educators are closing questioning minds, dismissing the scientific method, and advocating groupthink.
Michelle Stirling-Anosh is a research associate at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (www.fcpp.org).
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